The curriculum in the Seniors is divided into two parts. Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 and 9 and Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11.
In the first three years all students follow the same general programme. They study a wide range of subjects that include Maths, English, Science, Languages, The Creative Arts, Sport and Humanities. Each year, students build on skills and knowledge with the aim providing a solid foundation for KS4.
In Year 10 students start to prepare for their examinations. Maths, English and Science are compulsory. Other subjects are chosen from a range of options. Help and support are offered with this important decision and students are encouraged to think about their choices in the context of possible A levels or other further education.  ICGSE and GCSE examination are mostly taken at the end of Year 11.

Art and Design

The Art Department at Cambridge International School is at the hub of creativity in our school. We aim to provide an enjoyable and creative learning experience, where students can express their creativity using a variety of media. This has included drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, textiles and 3D. Every project starts with the most important skill, observational drawing. This encourages students to look at the real world around them and record what they see.


Our projects change regularly and are often in response to exhibitions or displays in local or national galleries.  We are lucky to have the Fitzwilliam Museum on our doorstep and we have the opportunity to visit for inspiration. Experiencing art first hand is really important and Year 10 and Year 11 students who have chosen the Cambridge IGCSE have the opportunity to visit collections and exhibitions to explore their themes.


Year 10 students have the opportunity to choose Art and Design as one of their IGCSE options. We follow the curriculum set by Cambridge International Examinations. This curriculum encourages independence and students gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop their technical skills.


Year 10 has three major projects, each one following the path of research, development of ideas and techniques, evaluation and a final response. We include a fine art project in term 1, a design project in term 2 and a free choice for response to a theme in term 3.


In Year 11 students are able to use one of their projects from Year 10 and develop it further into a coursework portfolio. The coursework counts as 50% of the overall grade. Exam papers for Art and Design arrive in January and the term is spent working on a supporting portfolio for the final response, which is produced under exam conditions in an 8 hour exam.


A picture paints a thousand words so please visit STUDIO SPACE to get a real flavor of the art at CIS and see some of our student’s fantastic work first-hand.

Computer Science

Cambridge International School is a lead school in Computing at School Network of Excellence.


Students in years 7, 8 and 9 learn to become confident computational thinkers by programming conventional computers and Raspberry Pi in a variety of textual languages including Python and Ruby. We also work with Raspberry Pi and BBC Microbits to experiment with sense and control in a physical context. Computer Science is a popular GCSE subject in which these concepts are taken further.


CIS also has a cybersecurity team which competes in the national Cybercenturion competition to learn how to secure and protect compromised computer systems.



The study of Drama is an important part of a student’s education.  Through the study of Drama students can develop personal skills and address social attitudes and values.  Students will study a wide range of different theatrical styles together with developing their vocal and physical skills with a view to increasing confidence and group awareness.


Course Details

Year 9 – Core Drama Skills

The year’s course aims to develop self-confidence and self-esteem through participation in a range of activities.  The students will be introduced to core Drama skills including freeze-frame, mime, thought-tracking and improvisation.  In most lessons they will participate in group activities to cement their understanding of these skills.


By participating in the activities, students have the opportunity to develop group dynamic, positive relationships, trust and co-operation.  Evaluation also plays an important part in the learning process and students are encouraged to reflect on the effectiveness of their work.


The course offers a good grounding for those students wishing to study Drama at GCSE.


Cambridge iGCSE Drama

Drama is an exciting, creative and challenging iGCSE with a balance between practical tasks and a written examination.

During the course, students gain knowledge and understanding of Drama and theatre through a range of practical activities which may include:

  • Exploring plays and texts through improvisation and performance
  • Developing skills in acting and performance
  • Devised thematic work for performance to an audience
  • Attending and evaluating a range of professional live theatre


Drama Workshop

On Friday afternoons we have Drama Workshop.  This is a club open to all and is an opportunity for theatre games and improvisation alongside studying extracts from plays and poems.   The emphasis is on having fun, developing confidence and important performance skills whilst filling ‘the Empty Space’.


“The best thing about school productions is the sense of freedom that being on a stage brings… Being in school productions is my favourite thing about school.” CIS Student


Engineering is based on practical problem-solving activities that are mostly completed in groups.


On the course students learn how to design, build, develop and test devices to solve a given problem or design brief. Some of the activities involve the use of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (CADCAM) technology including a 3D printer. Students in Y8 compete in the annual Bloodhound Microbit Rocket Car Contest.


The course is supported by Young Engineers Club Network.


English Language

We teach across the curriculum using the medium of English and our aim is to ensure that every student becomes competent to a high standard in written and spoken English.


Year 7 to 9

During these years we study the fundamentals of the English language, grammar, syntax, spelling, vocabulary and composition using topical texts and by engaging students in subjects which develop their ability to express themselves using the spoken and written word. Through discussion and structured didactic processes we enable students to be confident in using English and who are exited by our language.


We follow a course to develop both implicit and explicit comprehension throughout the three years so that by years 10 and 11 all their skills form a strong platform for preparation for the IGCSE English language examination at the end of year 11.


English Literature

Years 7 to 9

Promoting excitement and possibilities of written English in various genres, we study a range of age-appropriate drama, poetry and prose during these years to develop a critical analysis of various scripts. This ranges from ancient to modern texts. A Shakespearean play is studied each year.

Reading for pleasure and enjoyment is a priority and our library has a range of books for pupils to borrow. We also encourage the use of iPads, electronic devices and audio books as a way to enjoy literature.


Year 10 and 11

Our aim to excite and inspire students in the art and beauty of the English Language. Following the IGCSE English Literature syllabus we explore the set texts of poetry, a novel and a play leading to the final examination at the end of Year 11. The experience is deeper than just passing an exam – we visit theatres, invite visiting speakers & poets, and engage in local events to further develop appreciation and understanding of English culture and literature.


Our International Students

We like to integrate our international students into mainstream English lessons as well as providing further support at a personal level if required. We provide simplified versions of study texts and we differentiate the classwork so that every student is able to enjoy and benefit from the richness of the English course.


We are unique in offering this subject within our weekly timetable. Film Making is a fun and innovative way of using digital media to produce drama and factual film works.


Students learn to use digital cameras, green screen and editing software to produce live action films or animation that entertain and inform. Film is the perfect medium to connect children from various countries because it goes beyond speech to convey and explore emotions and ideas.


All the skills learnt during earlier years are fine-tuned when students decide to take the AQA GCSE Media Studies single or double award.


The Geography department at CIS lets students discover the diversity of the physical and human environment. We

study a great range of topics such as natural hazards, plate tectonics, population and tourism. Geography helps students understand the natural processes that shape the planet, the cultural diversity of its inhabitants, and issues of environment and development. Learning about the interconnection between all topics is an important learning objective in Geography.


We study theory and practise reading maps, describing graphs and photographs, as well as writing case studies for which students need to collect, manipulate, present, analyse and evaluate primary and secondary data. We take our knowledge outside the classroom during trips which include river fieldwork at the River Granta, exploring urban dynamics in Cambridge, visiting Yole Farm near Balsham, and an exciting trip to Iceland to explore plate tectonics first hand.


We aim to develop students’ confidence when working with information and ideas, and share these with others. Team work is a central aspect when studying geography and students are encouraged to be reflective as learners, both individually and as a group member.


The KS3 and IGCSE course content often compliments other subjects and studying Geography at CIS will provide students with a broad skill base and solid cross-curricular knowledge, equipped for new and future challenges.


Among a variety of topics, in KS3 we study Rivers and River Settlements, Fairtrade, the Oceans, Natural Hazards,

Coasts, Notable Explorers of the Natural World, Tourism & Sustainability, Plate Tectonics, Globalisation and Geo Politics.


In Y10 and Y11 we study the CIE IGCSE Geography Syllabus which includes the following Geographical Themes:

  • Population Dynamics
  • Settlement
  • Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • Rivers and Coasts
  • Weather and Climate
  • Development
  • Food Production and Industry
  • Tourism
  • Energy and Water
  • Environmental risks of Economic Development


IGCSE students will do three papers in total:

paper 1 – Geographical Themes

paper 2 – Geographical Skills

paper 3 – Alternative to Coursework (also known as Paper 4)


Geography is part of the Humanities department which coordinates the Model United Nations club. This club is organised on a weekly basis and prepares students to attend the Cambridge University Schools Model United Nations Conference which takes place in Cambridge, second weekend in September. Model UN conferences are opportunities to practice research, public speaking, teamwork, negotiation, and writing skills in a safe and structured environment.


The History department at CIS aims to stimulate an interest in and enthusiasm for learning about the past. We explore the past with a strong, diverse program for both KS3 and IGCSE students.


Students are introduced to various key historical concepts such as the nature of cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference, and find out how to use and understand historical evidence as part of their studies. Furthermore the development of historical skills, including investigation, analysis, evaluation and communication skills is greatly encouraged.


In KS3, pupils gain essential skills and critical thinking techniques used in the study of History through a variety of topics. We use interactive learning methods such as role plays. Hands-on activities include making a castle, organising court cases and debates, as well as using and evaluating different sources. Trips include visits the Duxford Museum, Hampton Court and The Scott Polar Research Institute.


The History course begins with 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, and goes on to discover what every day was life in the Middle Ages, the Black Death, the Tudors, Revolutions, followed by the Industrial Revolution, the Suffragettes and events in the early 20th century such as the First World War.


In KS4, option B of the CIE IGCSE History syllabus is studied, which is International Relations since 1919. This syllabus includes the peace treaties after WWI, the League of Nations, the Cold War and the spread of Communism. The in-depth study covers Germany, 1918-1945. There is a strong emphasis on both historical knowledge and on skills required for historical research and writing.


Language learning is a treasured part of our school and begins in the early years. The school’s main language is English and the Language Department is dedicated to promoting the general educational progress of the students through the study of languages.


Students develop an enthusiasm for language learning and discovering new cultures. Students are given opportunities to work together to foster respect for others. Language teaching groups at Cambridge International School embrace a broad spectrum of ability and experience, from standard foreign language learners to native and near-native speakers. Small group sizes allow this range to be accommodated.


The Language Department celebrates the wide range of languages spoken by students and staff. By working closely with the English as an Additional Language (EAL) coordinator the students are supported in their learning and encouraged to share their knowledge during Assemblies. The Language Department also runs a Mother Tongue Program (hyperlink to Mother Tongue Page) which enables the students to maintain their mother tongue language.


Each year several trips are organised to celebrate language learning: day trips and trips abroad as well as our annual ‘Languages Day’, where students can experience different cultures and languages in a fun and stimulating environment.
All children at Key Stage 3 receive formal education in two other languages, currently French and Spanish. Year 7 and Year 8 are also studying German.
At GCSE level students have the opportunity to choose to study French, Spanish and/or German. Most of our students in the Mother Tongue program will study for First Language IGCSE examinations, with some outstanding results.



French is taught throughout the school by a French native teacher with excellent results for students studying to IGCSE level.


Students arrive in Year 7 with differing experience and exposure to the French language. Some may never have studied French and some may have a little experience, while others may be fluent/native speakers. Lessons are delivered to enable all students to learn at the right level and pace, and students are supported or challenged where needed. Students generally take IGCSE French in Year 11 but several students are entered early and go on to study French at a higher level.
Students will be baking “la buche de Noel” in December, “la galette des Rois” in January and making crepes in February, a fun way to remember French celebrations.


As a part of our varied program of trips and visits at CIS, students from Year 8 to Year 10 will be travelling to Normandy in France where they will be immersed in language and culture, whilst participating in a variety of activities and visits.
After last year’s successful Year 9 trip, we will again offer the opportunity for students to spend a morning at the Alliance Française in Cambridge.



Spanish is taught throughout the school by a Spanish native teacher, with outstanding results at IGCSE level. As with French, gifted students are encouraged to take examinations early.


There are lots of opportunities to celebrate Spanish language and culture, such as making Paella, sugar skulls for the Mexican Day of the Dead and dancing the Flamenco.


Key Stage 3 students learning Spanish will have the opportunity to practice their language skills at Europa Center in November.


Last year, the Year 10 students spent a day in a Spanish school (Vicente Canada Blanch) in London, a total immersion that the students really enjoyed. We hope to repeat that experience with our current Y10 students.


Students are also given the opportunity to travel abroad and last year a large group of students had the opportunity to spend time at one of our partner schools in Spain. Students gained a huge amount from the experience, where they spent time in lessons perfecting their Spanish and also enjoying an array of outdoor activities. We hope to continue to extend our links with our partner schools in Spain and to welcome Spanish students to CIS.



In September 2017, German has been introduced for Year 7 and Year 8.
German is taught by a German native speaker who is also leading the Mother Tongue program at primary level.


Until now, German was only taught at the Senior School to small groups of enthusiastic students in Year 10, who were preparing to take their IGCSE in German in just two years. These students also had the opportunity to visit Cologne to practice their German language skills.


At Cambridge International School we believe Maths is an extremely important subject that enables students to develop the reasoning and logical thinking skills they will need in life.  It is essential that students develop confidence in mathematical ability.  Not only do we help students enjoy mathematics through dynamic and interactive teaching, but by helping them discover the beauty of how mathematics is used in everyday life and the power of what mathematics can do for society.  Our hope is that students come to their own personal understanding of mathematical concepts and methods, and that they can appreciate the value of teamwork and creativity through collaborating with their peers. We strive to instill in our students the importance of hard work and perseverance so they can achieve to their highest potential not only in Maths but all subjects.


The needs and learning styles of each individual are considered in the planning and preparation of material to be covered and in expectations of outcomes and targets.  Extension work is available for the more-able students.  Individualised plans can be created for students whose needs are significantly different from those of their peers, including starting GCSE coursework early, revision for previous units that need to be retaken, working on curriculum from students’ home countries, or using primary level material.  Reinforcement activities are also available for those who need extra consolidation.   Many EAL students use dictionaries or translators during Mathematics lessons.


For our top set, we encourage students to sit their IGCSE exam (Edexcel) at the end of Year 10.  This allows them to opt into doing a GCSE in Statistics (AQA) and an Additional moths (OCR) course: FSMQ.  Other qualifications, such as the Level 3 Algebra Award (Edexcel) are also offered to extend students who finish their exams early and want to continue preparation for A-level Maths.


Our students annually participate in the UKMT Maths Challenges (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior), a nationally set exam that takes place in April, February and November respectively each year. Many of our students achieve Bronze, Silver, or Gold in this exam and go on to qualify for further rounds.


Students who are exceptionally gifted in Maths in Years 7-10, who are motivated to challenge themselves further, are encouraged to attend an after- school club.  The Maths Club runs on a Monday afternoon and focuses on skills needed to conquer tough questions that require unique approaches.  It also prepares specific groups of students to be entered into the Team Maths Challenge and Year 10 Maths Challenge.


The department runs a Math’s website:, where students can access their homework, download past papers and making schemes, watch videos for revision, and find links to other interactive sites that give them challenging puzzles and entertaining facts and videos about Mathematics.


Students in years 7,8 and 9 attend weekly music lessons where they experience a wide variety of musical contexts and develop their musicianship and instrumental skills. Using instruments such as keyboards, guitars, ukuleles, a range of percussion and voice, students receive a comprehensive insight into different styles, cultures, and instrumental techniques, providing each student the opportunity to progress in their performing, composing, listening and notation skills. Every student is encouraged to discover their own musical potential through a supportive and creative environment, allowing for all musical, as well as life skills, to develop and flourish.


In years 10 and 11, GCSE music students further develop their musical knowledge and understanding, and listening, composing and performing skills through guided practice and analysis as part of the Edexcel Music GCSE syllabus. Students must have the required Grade 3 ABRSM (or equivalent) on their instrument and be receiving individual tuition in order to opt for GCSE Music.


All singers and instrumentalists are encouraged to participate in our extra-curricular programme, which currently comprises of Senior Choir and Senior Band. Regular concerts and assemblies offer a platform for these groups, soloists and other ensembles to showcase their hard work and talent!


Other highlights of the music calendar include the House Music Competition and our annual trip to a West End musical.

Physical Education

From year 7 upwards pupils have one games afternoon a week from 2pm-4pm.  This is where traditional games are studied.  In the autumn and winter pupils play Rugby, Hockey, Football and Netball.  During the summer pupils play Cricket and athletics.


In addition to their games afternoon pupils receive an additional physical education lesson.  These lessons have a broader range of activities including Dance, Gymnastics, Health Related Fitness, Table Tennis, Orienteering, Volleyball and Athletics.


In addition to curriculum PE pupils can participate in sports clubs both before and after school. These will change with the seasons.


In year 10 pupils are offered the opportunity to study GCSE PE.  We follow the new OCR 1-9 GCSE.  Students are practically assessed in 3 practical activities that they are strong performers at this makes up 40% of the pupils’ final mark.


The final 60% comes from 2 theoretical areas:

  1. Factors affecting performance (including anatomy and physiology and physical training)

  2. Soico-cultural issues and sports psychology (to include health, fitness and wellbeing).  GCSE PE lessons are taught in addition to their games afternoon.


Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is studied throughout KS3 and KS4, in line with the school PSHEE policy and national guidance. Lessons are interactive and largely discussion-based, and pupils enjoy having a platform to discuss important ideas and sharing their ideas on key issues in society.

Throughout the course, the topics that we cover and build upon are:
– Sex and Relationships Education
– Staying Safe – including E-Safety
– Healthy Lifestyle Choices
– Study Skills
– First Aid Training
– Mental and Emotional Health and Wellbeing
– Fundamental British Values
– Democracy
– Personal Economics and Finance
– Careers Guidance and College Applications Support.

Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Religious Studies is key in expanding our understanding and tolerance of beliefs and cultures around us, in our modern, multicultural society more than ever before. Studying religion allows pupils to question and explore their own and others’ ideas, and learn how to express their thoughts respectfully and appropriately. In the lessons, pupils do a lot of discussion and debate, as well as written work.


All pupils study Religious Studies at KS3. Throughout KS3, pupils investigate a range of topics, including learning the basics of world religions such as Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, as well as investigating some ‘thematic’ topics such as ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘How do people put their beliefs into action?’


At KS4 Religious Studies is currently offered as an option subject. We follow the Edexcel B GCSE (9-1) course, which explores various themes and beliefs with focus on Christianity and Islam.


In Christianity, we explore Religion and Ethics:
– Beliefs
– Marriage and the Family
– Living the Religious Life
– Matters of Life and Death


In Islam, we explore Religion, Peace and Conflict:
– Beliefs
– Crime and Punishment
– Living the Religious Life
– Peace and Conflict



Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9)
Students at CIS follow the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Secondary 1 Curriculum, culminating in Checkpoint exams after Easter in Year 9. These Checkpoint summative assessments help students, parents and staff to make the best decisions about the different Science options at GCSE.


The exciting, hands-on, Biology curriculum is complemented and augmented with a range of educational visits outside school, including: Linton Zoo (Year 7), University of Cambridge Botanic Garden (Year 8) and Wicken Fen May (Year 9)
Students in Year 9 & Year 10 also take part in the Royal Society of Biology Challenge in March.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
Students at CIS follow the CIE IGCSE Biology course, either as a Separate Biology IGCSE or as part of Coordinated (Double) or Combined (Single) IGCSE.
Every year, towards the end of the Summer Term, students celebrate CIS Science Day and the theme for 2017 was Food Science.


Q: How does Juliet maintain a constant body temperature? A: Romeostasis



Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9)
Students at CIS follow the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Secondary 1 Curriculum, culminating in Checkpoint exams after Easter in Year 9. These Checkpoint summative assessments help students, parents and staff to make the best decisions about the different Science options at GCSE.


The exciting, hands-on, Physics curriculum is complemented and augmented with a range of educational visits outside school, including: University of Cambridge Department of Astronomy (Year 7), University of Cambridge Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (Year 7), Amey Waterbeach Waste Management Park (Year 8). In 2016 there was also a visit to CERN in Switzerland.


Students enjoy a range of exciting and fun practical activities, including learning about how waves travel, using a wave machine made from kebab sticks and jelly babies!


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
Students at CIS follow the CIE IGCSE Physics course, either as a Separate Physics IGCSE or as part of Coordinated (Double) or Combined (Single) IGCSE.
Every year, towards the end of the Summer Term, students celebrate CIS Science Day and the theme for 2016 was Rocket Science.


A photon checks into a hotel. The bellhop asks, “Can I help you with your luggage?” It replies, “I don’t have any. I’m travelling light.”



Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9)
Students at CIS follow the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Secondary 1 Curriculum, culminating in Checkpoint exams after Easter in Year 9. These Checkpoint summative assessments help students, parents and staff to make the best decisions about the different Science options at GCSE.


The exciting, hands-on, Chemistry curriculum is complemented and augmented with a range of educational visits outside school, including: University of Cambridge Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (Year 7), Salters Festival of Chemistry (Year 8) and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Top of the Bench Competition (Years 9, 10 & 11).


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
Students at CIS follow the CIE IGCSE Chemistry course, either as a Separate Chemistry IGCSE or as part of Coordinated (Double) or Combined (Single) IGCSE.
Every year, towards the end of the Summer Term, students celebrate CIS Science Day and the theme for 2015 was Forensic Science.


Q: What did the bartender say when oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, sodium and phosphorus walked into his bar? A: OH SNaP

Cambridge International School - Senior School

Senior School
(The Temple)

Bourn Bridge Road
Cambridge, CB21 6AN

+44 (0) 1223 832719

 Admissions enquiry email:

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 778290

Please arrange a visit to  see our learning in action and speak to the students and staff.
Please arrange a visit to  see our learning in action and speak to the students and staff.

Senior School
(The Temple)

Bourn Bridge Road
Cambridge, CB21 6AN

+44 (0) 1223 832719

 Admissions enquiry email:

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 778290